Food for Families Fundraiser in Morgantown benefits Twin Valley Food Pantry

Submitted photos Food for Families Fundraiser presents the first $2,000 check to the Twin Valley Food Pantry.
Submitted Silent auction and prize baskets at last year's event.

This year’s Food for Families Fundraiser expands into three venues to benefit the Twin Valley Food Pantry.

The benefit event will be held at Conestoga Mennonite Church, 2779 Main St., Morgantown, on Feb. 7 and 8.

“We are expanding this year into three different venues, something for everyone. Our ideas keep growing along with the crowd,” said Event creator and organizer Deborah Harry, an Elverson resident and TVFP volunteer.

The first Food for Families Fundraiser event is ‘crop’ (a ‘crop’ is get-together for scrapbooking aficionados) which will take place on Friday and Saturday at the church. There is currently a waiting list with 64 seats already sold for this Friday event which includes dinner.

Harry’s analogy of an old fashioned quilting bee may be the reason for its popularity. Four scrapbooking vendors with featured supplies and embellishments along with mini-classes are available. Personalities of the books and participants liven up the tables as new designs and shared stories are brought to be. The creative process of family births, marriages, photos and tidbits coming to life in the pages conjure up a passion for sharing stories, life events, and new techniques and patterns.

The second event, Saturday, Feb. 8, is open free to the public with doors open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The room is festive with a silent auction and gift baskets.

Auction items include two rounds of golf for two plus carts at Tanglewood Manor Golf Club in Quarryville, French Creek Golf Club tickets, Sports Vault autographed and framed sport celebrity photo, French Creek Boutique items, numerous gift cards and gift certificates, to name a few.

Attendees will bid on silent auction items by registering their contact information, and getting an assigned bidders number. Next to each item is a sheet where bidders will write down their number and bid. There are set prices for beginning bids as well as set incremental increases for each item. At the close the highest bidders will be announced and contacted for payment arrangements. You do not have to be present.

Volunteers have been collecting items all year from individuals and businesses. They are currently a bustle with designing the themed baskets with donations still pouring in and accepted until the day of the event. Gift baskets include a Spa Basket, Sweetheart Basket, Twin Valley Coffee Basket (Elverson), and a Dog Basket by Godfrey’s (Mohnton), a Cat Basket designed and assembled by Harry herself, Fitness memberships, Cooking and baking baskets, the list goes on and is still growing.

This year surprises with a new event, representatives from different individual businesses such as Silpada Jewelry; Thirty-One; Clever Containers, and more. Each dealer will donate a $50 item to be chanced off, as well purchases can be made directly.

“This started three years ago with an idea to make money for the pantry. Now as we approach our third year, it feels so satisfying to see how it has grown and how lucky I am to be able to give back and inspire others,” said Harry. “My motto is Ask and Get.”

Harry began the fundraising event after a conversation with a neighbor who was involved with the pantry and inspired her to volunteer.

“While responsible for getting the ‘ball rolling’ on the Food for Families Fundraiser, it is only possible with the help of volunteers and the community who supports it,” said Harry. “Volunteering at the food pantry is the best thing that I have ever done – and putting together the fundraiser is the second best.”

Last year’s event raised about $5,000. An initial $2,000 check will be presented to Food Pantry Directors Howard and Carol Moss. The rest of the final tally will be given after all the money is collected. Every crop ticket sale, all proceeds from the auction and gift baskets and food are all counted to make this total. All time, talent and treasure are donated.

“Howard (Moss, Director of the Twin Valley Food Pantry) referred to this as their biggest fundraiser of the year,” Harry said.

The TVFP distribution is usually the 4th Tuesday of the month. Final statistics for 2013 have not been published yet. The December Newsletter reflected totals for 2012: A 17 percent increase or a total of 124, 200 pounds of food distributed and an increase of 31 percent in families served, reaching 1,402 families or 5,190 people.

Anyone interested in volunteering for Food for Families, or with other questions about the event, should contact Deborah Harry at 610-286-1970. The new website is: www.twinvalleyfoodpantry.org.

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